Weather Does Not Consistently Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Published Online: Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Many fibromyalgia patients report aggravated symptoms that coincide with specific weather conditions, but a study published in the July 2013 issue of Arthritis Care & Research found no definite connection between weather patterns and pain caused by the disorder.

The study included 333 women in the Netherlands who had been first diagnosed with fibromyalgia an average of 3.5 years earlier. Participants answered questions regarding pain and fatigue levels for 28 consecutive days. The researchers also collected data on daily weather conditions, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, and humidity.

The results indicated that weather conditions had significant but small effects on pain or fatigue in 10% of analyses. In addition, the random effects of weather variables produced significant but small differences in pain and fatigue levels among patients in 20% of analyses. For example, increased pain coincided with low atmospheric pressure for some patients and with high atmospheric pressure for others. The researchers found no correlation between these differences and patient characteristics, such as demographics or functional and mental capacity.

The researchers conclude that while individual fibromyalgia patients may be sensitive to certain weather conditions, there is little evidence that weather consistently affects fibromyalgia symptoms.

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